In March of this year, I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science. In late June I moved from Southern California to Northern California for a job doing software development. Within a week, I came to the realization that I hated the job, but not only that, I hated programming professionally. My employers could tell that I felt this way, and just a few days ago I was fired before my 90 day probationary period was up. So now I am out a job, lost, wondering where to go from here.
I have thought about starting over from square one, to get away of software development/IT and go into more creative pursuits. I have always been creative and draw all the time, I am a decent artist but have a problem with actually finishing pieces. I tend to just sketch and have several sketch books just filled with them. When I try to finish things, I tend to get frustrated with my hands not being steady enough to draw clean lines, or frustrated because I lack the technical skill to get the pictures im drawing to look like the picture in my head. Because of this I was reluctant to try to get into a creative carrer, thinking I could never get my skills to the point where I could draw/paint/create professional. Now, I feel a bit more confident I could develop those skills, but also feel that I still have a way to go.
So from here I want to pose a few questions to the community:
1. What would be the best way to make sure that a carrer in art is right for me? Obviously this might be question that would be best to ask myself, but I want to know what kinds of things would be required of me if I was a professional artist?
2. Is Art school really worth it? Is it better to just develop a portfolio? Recently, a game designer for a small tabletop RPG company recommended that I should send some completed pieces to their art director for a possible job after she seeing some sketches I did, and I thought that this might be a better choice (if I can get it) then going to school.
3. If Art school is worth it, could anyone recommend a good school if i wanted to get into entertainment design, either 2d or 3d?
What is it exactly you don't like about coding professionally? Can you break it down?
This will be important in deciding if the art field is for you- I think. There are definitely parallels. As an example - if you hated coding because you never got to do your own projects / create your own ideas, getting into 2d/3d art is much the same at the lowest levels. You're still executing someone else's vision. Your work is going to be critiqued, taken apart, and discarded with prejudice. You need to be ok with that. It's part of being a commercial artist.
After climbing the ladder and proving yourself, just about anyplace will give you more creative freedom and respect. But that can be true for coding too.
Maybe you just hate the way that job worked?
Different companies use different styles of work management (like Agile) and you might be more suited to a different team or company.
Not every work environment is the same- even if your actual work is the same kind of work!
School is worth it always if you put in your everything. Learning, in itself, is noble. But are you ready for a slew of new student loans?
One of the most shocking things I discovered was everything I learned at school was basically online. For free. The wealth of information online is absolutely staggering. But school is more than raw knowledge: school is experience, school is structure, school is how to finish projects, school is about pushing yourself. If you have already learned those core attributes, it's possible you could supplement it with some self taught art skills.
So to sum it all up: Maybe try another coding job with a totally different culture. Brush up on your art in the meantime. Keep your eyes open for a school that appeals to you!
I'm in NorCal too. I went to Ex'pression College for Digital Arts. I loved it, graduated valedictorian, and they placed me in a great job right out of college. But there are some very negative stories and reviews about the school out there. That's true for just about any school. It's what you make of it.
If you decide art school is something you want to pursue, remember that the entire price tag is going to be on your head. Since you already have one degree, you can't get any financial aid or scholarships from schools.
I can only really talk in terms of schools, as I havn't had much freelance work.
I'm applying for fzd school at the moment and I have previously done a course in illustration.
The (fzd) course fee's are expensive, but I like what I've read about it and the graduating work is decent.
Try looking at courses,pdfs,forums, and competitions online.
Better to spend 2-500 on an online course before blowing a lot of money away. I havn't done any of the cg master academy courses but they seem pretty good.
Last edited by drawnnorth; January 19th, 2013 at 05:07 AM.